Woodpeckers can withstand the forces generated by their pecking which can reach 1000 times gravity. Humans, on average can withstand 46 times gravity.
Researchers had previously figured out that thick neck muscles diffuse the blow, and a third inner eyelid prevents the birds’ eyeballs from popping out. Now, scientists from Beihang University in Beijing and the Wuhan University of Technology have taken a closer look at the thick bone that cushions a woodpecker’s brain.
The spongy bone in the skull of the woodpecker makes a huge difference. Trabeculae, beamlike projections that make up the mesh of the plate, are quite numerous in the skull plate and are closer together than in other birds. As for the beak of the woodpecker, it may not be stronger than other bird’s, but may instead be designed to absorb the forces created by pecking. This could make great strides in developing protection from brain injuries in humans.
- Concussions: Why Woodpeckers Don’t Get Them (offthebase.wordpress.com)
- Study on Woodpeckers Unlocks the Key to Avoid Head Injury (prweb.com)